Data & Analytics

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Jonathan Camhi
Jonathan Camhi
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The Benefits of Automating Data Management Tasks

How one bank is saving time and labor costs by automating data entry and migration between different IT systems.

As banks aim to gain new insights from the piles of data they have on their customers, they're finding that effective data management is often the foundation to making use of that data. This is because many banks are finding that their data is siloed in different systems or parts of their organizations, making it difficult to access when needed for analysis and reporting. Cleaning up and centralizing that data can be an expensive and time-consuming process when done manually. BankPlus, a $2.4 billion institution is Mississippi, has saved $90,000 in labor costs and freed up IT staff for other tasks by automating data entry and migration between systems and applications with Foxtrot from EnableSoft.

[To learn more about effective data management in banking, check out: Banks Set Stage for Customer Acquisition With Data Analytics]

Janice Smith, vice president and data security officer at BankPlus, said it started using Foxtrot nearly 10 years ago to help with the acquisition of another Mississippi bank. That bank had been running on a different core system from the one that BankPlus uses, meaning all its customer data needed to be reformatted and migrated to the BankPlus system.

"We needed to pull all the customer and account data and populate it in our system, so that we'd have all of our data in one place, rather than running on two different systems," Smith said. "Manually, that would take a lot of manpower. Using software to automate the process is much quicker, and it's more accurate, because it eliminates human errors."

The Foxtrot software replicates the clicking of keys and mouse buttons on a computer as if a human were typing in the information. It simply does this faster and with better precision, according to EnableSoft.

Before BankPlus migrated all the customer data to one system, the IT staff was burdened with a dual workload, having to maintain and update two core systems instead of one. Once the data migration was complete, that dual workload was gone, and the bank benefitted from having all the customer and account information in one place. "We now have a true single view of our customers with all of the data standardized in one place," Smith said.

Following the success of the core data migration, BankPlus started looking for other tasks it could automate with Foxtrot. The bank opted to leverage the software for instant debit card issuance in its branches. "Prior to using Foxtrot, we had to manually paste data from our core into other software for the card. Now we can do that with one click of a button. The data loads automatically, and the card is issued instantly."

Between the core data migration and the instant issuance initiatives, BankPlus estimates that it has saved $90,000 with Foxtrot. The bank is now looking into other back-office maintenance tasks it could automate with the software, such as closing card accounts and standardizing customer email addresses across different systems.

"These kinds of daily back-office jobs would have to be done manually in our data center," Smith said. "once you have this part where you can just click a button and do it automatically, it's a no-brainer for us."

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Author
7/17/2014 | 9:23:17 AM
Re: Data management foundation
Indeed, the data is there waiting for banks to be able to urilize it.
User Rank: Author
7/16/2014 | 3:06:12 PM
Re: Data management foundation
Yes we hear a lot about banks that have tons of data but aren't able to fully leverage it. I think this is a good example of a bank that is taking the first steps towards doing that by taking care of some of the foundational issues.
User Rank: Author
7/15/2014 | 1:27:42 PM
Data management foundation
It's these kinds of foundational data management tasks (consolidating disparate data, integrating different systems, etc.) that present a huge obstacles to banks of all sizes looking to create and leverage big data and business intelligence capabilities, this implementation shows that while it still requires significant commitment and resources there are ways to approach these challenges that can simplify and speed them.
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